With heat maximums exceeding 40 degrees Celcius this week, Local Land Services veterinarians in New South Wales are providing reminders to producers about steps that can be taken to minimise heat impacts on livestock.
These include some of the more obvious points such as only handling stock in the coolest parts of the day, such as early morning or in the evening, and ensuring stock have access to shade and shelter, particularly in feedlot situations.
Central West Local Land Services District Veterinarian, Jillian Kelly said landholders also need to be aware that stock will drink up to two times the normal amount of water in hot weather.
“Larger than normal amounts of good quality drinking water close to shade should be readily available,” Jillian said.
“If water in dams and rivers is low, stock will wade through, which fouls the water and increases the chances of stock bogging.
“If the water is dirty, stock may reject it so landholders are advised to consider alternatives such as fencing off watering points and pumping water through troughs.
“Another aspect to consider is the effect that extreme heat could also be having on sheep in early gestation. Early embryos are particularly sensitive and could be terminated.”
Central West landholders with animal health questions relating to managing stock in hot conditions should contact their nearest Local Land Services District Veterinarian:
- Jillian Kelly, Coonamble, 0428 334 459
- Nik Cronin, Forbes, 0429 499 284
- Belinda Edmonstone. Forbes, 0428 521 699
- Sarah Maher, Coonabarabran, 0407 716 816
- Erica Kennedy, Nyngan, 0438 842 365
- Hanna Thomas, Condobolin, 0428 434 336
Further information on water requirements for sheep and cattle can be found at https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__
data/assets/pdf_file/0009/ 96273/Water-requirements-for- sheep-and-cattle.pdf